For anyone who doesn’t know this about me already, I’m an absolute cookbook fanatic (who is always on the hunt for more) and a few years ago I reached out to a couple of my favourite foodie friends to ask them about what their favourite cookbooks are. I was intrigued when my girl Hawley Dunbar of Sidewalk Hustle responded citing a Toronto-based Chef named David Rocco, whom she listed alongside the likes of the legendary Julia Child, as one of her top picks.
At the time, I had never heard of David Rocco and was completely unfamiliar with his work. One thing I did know was that Hawley absolutely slays in the kitchen, and if she liked him, he must be pretty freaking great.
Right away, I got my hands on a copy of David Rocco’s cookbook Made In Italy and set to work trying to make nearly every recipe in his book. I was instantly impressed with how great even some of his simplest dishes would turn out with that authentic Italian flare that I’d always struggled to recreate at home. Unsurprisingly, Hawley was right and I was hooked.
I guess you could say that I quickly turned into a bit of a David Rocco superfan and I have praised his cookbooks Made In Italy and Dolce Vita ever since — even sending a copy of Made In Italy to my brother in Europe, insisting that his tiny kitchen had to have one in it.
When an invite to join a private dinner hosted by David Rocco and Best Buy Canada recently landed in my inbox, I nearly fell out of my chair. A night alone with David Rocco!? Ahhhh! Okay, well not quite alone, but, still, I was ecstatic about having the opportunity to receive a golden ticket to attend the exclusive event.
Held on the second floor of Baro on King West, walking into the event felt like entering a foodie fairytale. The event space had been transformed by the uber talented interior designer, Christine Dovey, and was filled with a larger-than-life harvest table and the most beautiful place settings.
The party guest list was just as impressive and I was so happy to get to dine with some of my favouite T.O. talents and personalities including my fellow OG Bloggers Casie Stewart (pictured below) and Jay Strut; Style Expert, Janette Ewen; Insta Stars, Mel Hwang and Jill Lansky; and many, many more including David Rocco himself, of course!
David Rocco wasn’t the only rockstar chef in the house that night, in fact he teamed up with Baro’s Executive Chef, Steve Gonzalez, to create and serve an incredible multi-course meal that showcased their renowned cooking styles influenced by Italy (Rocco) and Latin America (Gonzalez). They made it all happen right in front of our eyes while using Best Buy Appliances that included the Samsung Slide-In Smooth Top Induction Range and LG 4-Door French Door Refrigerator right in the middle of the party. I loved getting to see them cook right there in the same room where we were dining, and it added such a personal touch that made it feel as though you were dining in their own home.
Take a look at some of the images below to see some of the amazing dishes that David Rocco and Steve Gonzalez created for us to enjoy during dinner:
Cod Croquettes Pepperoni Di Zia Franca by Chef David Rocco
Albacore Curdo El Jardin by Chef Steve Gonzalez
Chef David Rocco’s Cavatelli Beet Risotto
Chef Steve Gonzalez’s Roasted Rack of Lamb
Showcasing the power of the high-end range of appliances from Best Buy went beyond the kitchen and was even integrated into the bar. Using a KitchenAid Immersion Blender, the bartender was able to create the fresh and frothy signature drink of the night called the ‘Flying Chili‘. The hand-held immersion blender is one of my favourite and most-used appliances in my kitchen, if you don’t have one I highly suggest you get one asap! Outside of cocktails, they are incredibly handy for blending soups, especially in the fall.
I honestly can’t think of anything that brings me more joy these days than getting to drink delicious cocktails and wine, eat amazing food, nerd out over fabulous kitchen appliances, and ogle my favourite chefs. Getting to do all of that at once? Well, it’s definitely an event I won’t soon forget.
Thank you for having me, Best Buy Canada!
(all event images by Ryan Emberley)